Introduction by Luke Batten
You know TSH loves Laurel Rathbun and we are pretty sure Laurel Rathbun loves TSH. The very short story on Laurel Rathbun is she is a multiple USA National Champion, pro cyclocross racer for Raleigh Clement, and a full time college student and bike racer at Marian University. Lets add to this list, TSH Muse, often a TSH employee and TSH Fan! Yeah she is busy but some how manages to handle all the pressure and competition with grace, maturity and love! We asked her to write a race journal this season. We happily showcase her first installment.
College and CX
By Laurel Rathbun
Wake up early. Read texts. Find out that the group project due today isn’t finished Finish project. Easy spin. Breakfast. Off to classes. Finish classes. Rush to airport. Flight delayed. Only 5 minutes to make connection. Run through Chicago airport with my 30 lb. backpack. Connecting flight delayed too – did not have to run! See TSH’s Dani and her husband. Now have an hour to spare, so decide to get coffee. Get to walk back by all the people I just ran by – awkward. Arrive in Providence at 11pm. Literally, walk across the street to the hotel. Sleep – YAY!!!!
Up at 9. Breakfast. Off to Roger Williams Park for course inspection. Back to hotel. Do homework while the movie “Troy” plays in the background. Brad Pitt is still handsome. Back to the course. 2 hours to sign-in, pin numbers, pre-ride, fuel up with an Ally’s Bar, find the perfect playlist, talk to the fabulous Raleigh mechanics, change into skinsuit, put on headphones and warm-up. Potty time. Call-ups. It’s race time.
3 minutes to go. Jackets come off and talking between the racers immediately stops. Whistle blows. The nervousness goes. Bottleneck at the first run-up. 4 flyovers, some steeper than others. Crowds gather to watch the struggle (crashes) as racers try to crest the flyovers. Fortunately, I make it over all of them. Challenging course, fast corners, and a sprint finish. Best part – riding by the beer garden and hearing random, hilarious comments. Back to the tent for a cool down. Change out of sweaty skinsuit. Hurry off to watch the men’s race.
A lot like Saturday – breakfast, course inspection, homework, pack all my stuff, leave for the race. The course goes the opposite direction today and I really like it. Less mud, a little tacky and much faster than Saturday’s course. Fantastic crowds again!! Finish. Hurry to shower trailers. Hallelujah, I will not have to sit on the airplane covered in dirt and sweat. Person in the seat beside me will be happy too. Rush to airport. Flight is on time Homework. Layover in Newark…… Land. Get picked up. Chipotle and chocolate milk waiting for me in the front seat. So delicious. Make it back to my dorm just before midnight. Sleep